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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

NIAAA for Middle School

Updated: 2023

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Welcome to NIAAA for Middle School

Underage drinking is a significant public health problem in the United States.

This webpage contains interactive activities to help parents, caregivers, and teachers introduce and reinforce key messages about peer pressure, resistance skills, and other important topics related to underage drinking.

These engaging activities are designed for middle schoolers ages 11 to 13. They can be used at home, in classrooms, or in after-school programs.

The content is based on a curriculum for grades 6–8 developed by the University of Michigan. The curriculum was created for the Alcohol Misuse Prevention Study (AMPS), a large-scale project supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

One goal of AMPS was to give students a clearer picture about alcohol use among their peers. Many middle schoolers tend to overestimate how much other students their age really drink. When they learn more accurate information, some of the pressure to drink can subside. Other goals of AMPS were to help students learn skills to resist pressure to drink and to give them reasons not to drink. This site incorporates AMPS goals in these and other features.

This website contains three sections focused on different aspects of alcohol, peer pressure, and resistance skills, followed by a resource list in section 4. The first three sections contain an overview, handouts, and role-playing exercises. The overviews provide background information to help you prepare to discuss alcohol and peer pressure with middle schoolers. The handouts are designed to be given to middle schoolers. The role-playing exercises are designed to be led by an adult and consist of two parts—a guide for the adult leader and a script for the middle schooler to read aloud.

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